Progressive Theology: Highest Frontier

Andrew Lang, ORU
A Door into Progressive Theology: Creative and Destructive Expressions of Faith in Joan Slonczewski’s The Highest Frontier

Slonczewski =
Evolutionary biologist, Quaker, feminist, hard science fiction author

2-time Campbell Award Winner
A Door Into Ocean 1987
Advanced race on water world. Moon around alien planet. Genetically engineered planet and themselves, so all female.
The Highest Frontier 2012
I reviewed and she prompted me with questions.

What it’s really about?
On her blog:
“argues the cold equations:
No energy source on Earth, even wind or solar, will save our planet. In the long run, no power source is sustainable…
Democracy as we know it is finished… We’ll be tossing a coin—perhaps the only thing left a coin is good for. … we send our children to die. … planet that’s dying is their future. …“The Cold Equations,” with a twist—spaceship Earth is in the hands of [a] girl.”

She challenged us to reverse the roles… a female pilot and a male stowaway.

Not much talk about religion aspects.
That is the question she asked me to look at when she asked me to review it.
The religion is very stereotypic.
Centrist: politically conservative, literalists… First Firmament Church
p. 16 “Your last day on Earth, before heading up to college at the firmament.” Firmament, the Centrist word for hollow…”
“A Church with its spire pointed down… Leviticus 18:23” p. 52 (which means not to have sex with a beast. “It is confusion.”)

“science deniers are appropriating more—they are starting to deny physics as well as biology.”

A door into author’s faith?
Sees herself for force for religious good.

Jenny talks to Father Clare. How can you stand to be a Christian? I can’t not be a Christian. (author fits in with scientists, until they realize she is a Christian)
But look at all people do in the name of Christ….Leading our planet to death.
“that’s what most preaching is… WE preserve the word of God by scribbling prayers over something infinitely more valuable. It’s up to you to find the original. P. 205-206

Notes from ORU 2015

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